It’s hard to retire from the company one establish.Co-founder of Chinese behemoth, Alibaba, Jack Ma is going through the similar patch in his life. The English teacher who became one of the richest man in the world is going to call it a day. He shall now focus on philanthropy in education sector.
According to New York Times, Jack Ma will step down from the post of executive chairman. On Monday, he tweaked his decision and said that he will retire next year. Daniel Zhang will succeed him. He will remain on the board of director of the company and continue to mentor its management. Although, Jack Ma had already relinquished his large proportion of power when he stepped down from the post of chief executive. After that, he held the role of being the international face at top political and business meet. A mere formal but a significant role.
“I don’t think it means that much, frankly. He stepped back from the CEO role about four or five years ago and very specifically made a comment about wanting the younger people to lead the company.”Kevin Carter, founder of The Emerging Markets Internet exchange-trade fund.
Alibaba was founded by 18 people led by Ma. China’s biggest e-commerce firm, it now has more than 66,000 full-time employees, according to the company’s latest annual filing.
The company had a market value of about $420 bn. Ma also controls Ant Financial, which was valued at about $150 bn after a recent fundraising round.
Alibaba started as an online marketplace for businesses to sell their products to other businesses. But it did not take off until it began the Taobao marketplace in 2003, which merchants used to sell goods directly to consumers. Alibaba later rolled out Alipay, an online payment service, to facilitate transactions in a country where few people had credit cards. Alipay later became Ant Financial, the financial subsidiary that Mr. Ma also controls.
Jack Ma is a cult figure in China. He is well respected in the entrepreneur circle. Even welcomed with screaming fans. Philanthropy had to be the natural and expected course.
In 2014, he created the Jack Ma Foundation, which has worked to improve education in rural China. Mr. Ma’s Weibo social media handle is “spokesman for village teachers — Jack Ma.” Within Alibaba, he is known and referred to as “Teacher Ma.”
Retirement of Jack Ma will bring an end to the era of the founders of Chinese internet entrepreneurs like Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu, etc. who competed with the American domination of Amazon and Google in their size, scope and ambitions. Teacher Ma will leave not only his post and the position but also a legacy to cheer for the generations to come.